Bateman urges judicial restraint as N.J. High Court weighs mandating 100k+ new affordable housing units

Bateman urges judicial restraint as N.J. High Court weighs mandating 100k+ new affordable housing units

house_frameOne N.J. legislator is renewing the call for a return to legislative oversight of state housing policy as the N.J. Supreme Court is set for a hearing this week to decide whether to reverse a July 2016 court decision declining to to mandate retroactive affordable housing obligations.

“The time for litigation is over. Placing affordable housing decisions in the hands of the courts or agencies such as COAH has led to nothing but chaos, confusion and delays,” Senator Christopher “Kip” Bateman  said in a statement. “The court agrees these decisions should be decided by the legislature. It is disappointing to see so-called ‘advocates’ continue to engage in frivolous lawsuits that only serve to block municipalities from understanding and fulfilling their housing obligations.”

Bateman is the sponsor of a bill which states, explicitly, that any attempt to coerce municipalities to comply with “gap period” requirements is illegal. The New Jersey Superior Court Appellate Division had ruled on July 11th that New Jersey’s municipalities are not required to meet retroactive affordable housing agreements during the “gap period,” a span of time lasting from 1999 to 2015.

The stakes are high.

If the appeal is successful? New Jersey municipalities might be forced to construct more than 100,000 affordable units over the next 9 years.

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